Friday Night Live: 5 things we learned in Week 5

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Pickerington North's Carl Allen II hauls in 40-yard touchdown pass as New Albany's Jesse Gordon defends during their game Sept. 25.

Among the games played Sept. 25 in central Ohio, a pair stuck out from a dramatic perspective.

Westerville North continued its surprise season with a 20-17 victory over Big Walnut. Hunter Weigand kicked a pair of fourth-quarter field goals, including one from 23 yards with 3 seconds to go, as his team improved to 4-1 overall and in the OCC-Capital Division.

Nothing, however, can top what took place at Hilliard Bradley as Olentangy Orange won 37-34 to improve to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Central.

After the Jaguars took a 34-30 lead with 28 seconds left, the Pioneers moved to the 50 and set up a final play. Quarterback Josh Laisure connected 20 yards downfield with Andre Robinson and he then lateraled to Caden Konczak, who sprinted for the game-winning touchdown.

Here are five things we learned in Week 5:

1. Eastmoor Academy outlasted Walnut Ridge in a City League-South showdown.

With the Bell Trophy on the line, the Warriors showed that they will be a force in the Division III, Region 11 playoffs after going 6-4 last season as they beat Walnut Ridge 25-19 in overtime Sept. 24.

Eastmoor, which improved to 2-0 while the Scots dropped to 1-1, took a 25-19 lead on a 4-yard run by quarterback Ahmad Armstrong in its overtime possession. The Scots moved to the 5 in their possession, but the Warriors’ Brandon Lovelace fell on a fumble after a poor shotgun snap to end the game.

2. Pickerington North has found its rhythm with the playoffs approaching.

After opening with a 35-9 loss to Pickerington Central on Aug. 30, the Panthers are 4-1 overall and won at least a share of the OCC-Ohio title with a 56-21 victory over New Albany on Sept. 25.

North outgained New Albany 538-237, with quarterback Jaylen Gilbert throwing for 196 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 73 yards and two scores. Idris Lawrence Jr. rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns, and Dawaun Green added 128 yards.

3. Olentangy Liberty continues to impress.

Since losing 24-17 to undefeated Dublin Coffman on Sept. 4, the Patriots have won three in a row and are 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the OCC-Central.

Liberty faced Hilliard Davidson for the ninth consecutive season Sept. 25 and posted the most impressive victory in the current series, winning 45-7.

Running back Aidan Kenley rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots, who held the Wildcats to 65 yards rushing.

4. Hartley’s ground game could be starting to hit its peak.

Even with one of their top running backs, Sumo Kesselly, not playing much of the game because of a nagging injury, the Hawks finished with 339 yards rushing and 389 total yards while beating Watterson 42-32 on Sept. 25.

Hartley improved to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the CCL, leaving it tied with DeSales for first in the league heading into their matchup Oct. 2 on the Stallions’ home field.

Hartley attempted just three passes, but Erik Underwood completed all of them, including two for touchdowns.

5. In perhaps the upset of the weekend, Dublin Jerome beat Olentangy 27-16.

The Celtics have made the playoffs in three of the past four seasons, including last fall when they finished 9-3.

They lost three of their first four this season, however, until beating the Braves to move to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in the OCC-Cardinal.

Jerome built a 20-14 lead and allowed only a safety late in the game while handing Olentangy its first loss. The Braves and Marysville share the OCC-Cardinal lead at 3-1.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek